Grilled Chicken Skewers with Watermelon Salsa and Feta
My roommate and I spend an embarrassing amount of time fantasizing about our future home.
I believe in dreaming big, so I like to picture us living in a sprawling Nancy Meyers’ estate somewhere by the beach. The whole place is light and airy, and we sleep in a custom oversize canopy bed that comfortably fits five—just in case we decide to have small children, or maybe some dogs. His and hers bathrooms are a given, as are rain showers, and the claw-footed bathtubs are big enough to swim in. The kitchen has a Wolf range, as well as a giant marble island set below a hanging display of copper cookware. And the walk-in pantry is large enough to house my quinoa hoards in style. Most importantly, there’s a large patio overlooking the pool (duh) with a Restoration Hardware-esque outdoor dining set, plenty of cushy couches, and a very serious grilling set-up. It’s the perfect spot for our regular summer dinner parties, at which I sip mint-laced cocktails under the stars in neutral linen/silk ensembles. Needless to say, I’m very happy there.
Logan’s creative visualization skills aren’t quite as good as mine, and his fantasies mostly revolve around a “Daddy cave” (where he presumably retreats to noodle to Widespread and watch the Eagles shit the bed?) and a kegerator. But whatever. I take solace in the fact that we agree on the necessities. Namely, his and hers bathrooms and a fancy grill.
God, we really need that grill.
There are a handful of drawbacks to summertime city living—lack of central air, the smell of hot garbage, etc.—but the inability to grill is perhaps the most upsetting. (My sister actually gifted me a mini Weber a few years ago in the hope of filling my grill void, but it turns out that using it on one’s fire escape is illegal [shocking!], so I had to retire that bad boy to storage.) Luckily, I’ve developed a rather close relationship with my grill pan, and while it can’t pull off the larger format BBQ items, it does a pretty bang up job with the basics. Especially burgers, steak, chicken breasts, and fancy kebabs, like these Grilled Chicken Skewers with Watermelon Salsa and Feta.
So, my fellow city dwellers, this “grilling” recipe is for you.
These easy chicken skewers with a refreshing, fruity salsa are light summer fare at its finest. The chicken stays incredibly tender and juicy on the grill (pan) thanks to a quick soak in a yogurt-based marinade, and the watermelon salsa is equal parts sweet and tangy with an epic cucumber crunch. Salty feta rounds out this punchy flavor medley, and each bite tastes as I imagine living in my fantasy beach house will feel…
I love these skewers as a simple weeknight dinner (they come together in under 40 minutes) with a side salad and some grilled pita bread, but they’re also great for casual entertaining. The recipe is easily multiplied for a crowd, and you can marinate the chicken and prep the salsa up to a day in advance, so that all you’ll have to do come fiesta time is cook the skewers. No muss, no fuss.
Oh and just FYI, this Watermelon Salsa is an incredibly versatile summer staple. It’s pretty great solo (just get after it with a spoon) and added to everything from arugula salads to grilled meat and fish. If you’re not a watermelon fan, feel free to sub pineapple or mango—they’re also delightful.
- 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 large garlic clove grated or finely minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1¼-inch cubes
- 8 metal or bamboo skewers
- 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- For the Salsa:
- 1½ cups diced watermelon aim for ¼-inch cubes
- 1 cup English cucumber aim for ¼-inch cubes
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
In a mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the cubed chicken and toss to coat with the marinade. (Make sure each cubes is well coated!) Let the chicken marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, prep the salsa. Combine all the ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
Pre-heat a grill (or grill pan) over medium heat.
Thread the marinated chicken cubes onto skewers. (I recommend 4 cubes per skewer.) Cook for about 8 minutes, turning the skewers once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through (aka no longer pink in the center).
Serve the skewers topped with salsa and crumbled feta.
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